Three new noble MPs elected in Tonga as preliminary results trickle in

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Voters from Vava'u queue
Voters from Vava'u queue to enter the outer islands polling place in the capital Nuku'alofa today. Image: Mary Lyn Fonua/Matangi Tonga/RNZ

RNZ Pacific

Tonga has new noble MPs and at least one returning MP among the people’s representatives, according to preliminary election results.

The polls have closed in the kingdom and counting is underway. However, results for the kingdom’s nobles was announced this afternoon by the Supervisor of Elections, Pita Vuki.

About 60,000 Tongan voters have been taking part in election.

They will be electing 17 People’s Representatives for the 26-member legislature.

The 33 noble families elected their nine representatives from within their own ranks.

Results for the nobles was announced this afternoon by the Supervisor of Elections, Pita Vuki.

For Tongatapu, the noble MPs are Lord Vaea, who makes a return to Parliament after being voted out in 2014, Lord Tu’ivakanō, who was prime minister in the first government after the reform and Lord Fohe who is a first time MP.

Vava’u seats retained
Vava’u has seen both noble MPs retain their seats Lord Tu’i’afitu and Lord Tu’ilakepa.

The same for Ha’apai, with Lord Fakafānua who was the speaker of the last Parliament, and Lord Tu’iha’angana both retaining their seats.

For ‘Eua, Lord Nuku is the elected noble representative and for the Niuas, the most northern islands, Prince Fotofili, who is himself a first time MP.

RNZ Pacific’s correspondent in Tonga, Kalafi Moala, said that having three new MPs among the nobles did not indicate much politically as two out of the three new seats were held by MPs that have been out of the country for medical reasons.

At the closing of the polls at 6pm local time, among the people’s representatives the only clear front runner was Siaosi Sovaleni, a possible candidate for the prime ministership who had registered an almost unassailable lead in Tongatapu 3.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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